What is the change? Alien Cards, which are required for foreign nationals staying in Kenya for longer than 90 days, are not being issued because the printing machine of the relevant issuing authority is broken.

What does the change mean? Although applications and appointments for applicants to provide biometrics continue to be accepted by the Directorate of Immigration, the printing of the cards by the National Registration Bureau has stopped.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Alien Cards, also known as Foreign Nationals Certificates.
  • Who is affected: All foreign nationals granted immigration status of more than 90 days, including Class D work permit holders and Dependent Pass holders.
  • Impact on processing times: The cards have not been issued since January.
  • Business impact: Applicants should expect severe delays in the issuance of the cards and a backlog after printing resumes.

Background: All foreign nationals who are issued a long-term immigration status are required to obtain an Alien Card by submitting an application to the Directorate of Immigration. The application is then forwarded to the National Registration Bureau, which is responsible for printing the cards.

The Alien Card is needed to secure a Kenyan driving license and to provide the benefit of local entry fee rates at national parks. It also means foreign nationals do not need to carry their passport as evidence of identity in case they are stopped by the police.

BAL Analysis: Foreign employees and their family members should anticipate significant delays in issuance of their Alien Cards. The machine has not yet been fixed, and even when printing resumes, delays are likely to continue while the backlog is cleared.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Kenya. For additional information, please contact

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